Tokyo: Mitsubishi Corp, Japan’s largest trading company, said on Friday it would spend €45.8 million ($62.8 million) on a 15% stake in a solar thermal energy plant owned by Spain’s Acciona SA.
Acciona, a leading global renewable energy firm, has begun commercial operations at three concentrated solar power (CSP) generation plants, with the fourth due to start operating later this year.
The plants in Spain, which use sunlight to heat water and power steam turbines, have a total capacity of 200,000 kw of electricity, enough to power 100,000 to 115,000 homes, the company said.
Japanese companies, with help from the country’s government, are trying to gain know-how in CSPs, seen as a key next-generation technology.
The European Union is backing projects to turn sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for power-hungry Europe, which it hopes will contribute to meeting its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources in 2020.